The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) and the National Space Research & Development Agency (NASRDA) have agreed to work together for the development of Nigeria’s space resources, local content, design and fabrication of space technologies for overall socio-economic growth and development of the country.
Deputy director of Information of NASENI, Olusegun Ayeoyenikan, in a statement yesterday, noted that the collaboration between the two agencies was made possible when the director general of NASRDA Dr. Halilu Shaba paid a courtesy visit to the management of NASENI led the executive vice chairman/chief executive Prof. Mohammed Haruna in Abuja yesterday.
The agreements will include NASENI assisting NASRDA in fabrication and design of drones and rockets thereby developing local capacities in those areas and also to conserve the country’s foreign exchange, stressing that such collaboration will spur local production to make the nation self reliant as most hi-tech equipment used in space technologies are imported into the country.
Explaining the reasons for the visit, Dr Shaba disclosed that “there was no better time to visit NASENI than now to congratulate the Agency on Federal Government’s approval to release the one (1) percent Federation Account funding mechanism to NASENI as contained in its establishment Law.”
He said further that the feat which was attributed to the leadership prowess of Prof. Haruna came as a major breakthrough for the entire Nigeria’s science, technology and innovation system because the singular effort would open further doors to positive actions by successive governments to make science and innovation funding a priority in Nigeria.
According to him, before this NASENI’s feat, the budgeting system of the country had never been in favour of Nigeria’s science, technology and innovation system which had made the socio-economic development efforts of the country very difficult.
While commending the rare hope which NASENI’s special fund brought to the sector, he said there was need for every well-meaning stakeholder to rally support for the Agency.
“Without investment in science and technology and innovation as a matter of priority, it will be difficult continuously to achieve economic growth and development of our country”, he said.
He stressed further that “the way out therefore is for the government to make funding of the sector a major focus and our coming to NASENI is to identify with this great feat of achieving special funding of 1 percent federation Account for NASENI which we believe signalled the beginning of good things to come for the science, technology and innovation system”.
In his response, the NASENI Chief Executive said the Agency had never engaged in any venture all alone without collaboration and synergy with others because NASENI was not established to reinvent the wheels. He said “when you collaborate, you gain more speed, make more successes, progress and that way you prevent needless duplication of efforts and waste of resources.”
The NASENI boss assured NASRDA of unbroken working collaborations, going forward, in all the areas which have been identified and many more.